My thoughts on the Apple TV

So many people had rumored the Apple TV would be releasing late because of the fact on the site it had stated 2-3 week shipping, it still remains the same online, but the Apple TV is now here in stores and many people have already gotten their hands on one. I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the newly released Apple TV.

First of all looking at design, I have to say that it looks like a huge step up from the previous Apple TV. I personally found the older one too large in length and the color scheme on the older one didn't really pursue me into buying one. But looking at the newer design, everything has been cleared up and it looks very simple and best of all small. The black color scheme it has looks very nice on it and it is somewhat made of plastic which you can see through the inside components. A prominent little indicator light shows up once the machine is on, and through that "see-through" plastic you can make out an IR port which allows for handling the remote. The nice black matte finish on the top with a somewhat rubberized bottom makes it look nice and won't move around too much. But one design flaw that I find would be the fact that it is so light and small that twisted wires plugged in, will often move the Apple TV to an awkward angle and that can be a pain. It feature an HDMI port, Mini USB, Optical Audio, Ethernet and power. The overall look is very "Apple like" and you know what to expect: sleek with curved sides and very nice to look at.

Now looking at the software side: It has a very clean user interface, in which it is very easy to understand, and scroll through different show titles. The library of tv shows is a bit disappointing and the fact that the Apple TV is only limited to renting isn't that amusing. It also offers Netflix streaming and the ability to watch YouTube videos. Though you can also connect it to your iTunes library, to stream shows you like. One feature which we will have to wait till November would be the AirPlay feature, meaning you can run apps directly from your handheld iOS device onto your Apple TV. We will have to wait and see what that will be like. Videos are limited to 720p but that will be fine for most people.

Pricing wise at $99 we are looking at a very good priced Apple TV, this will sell well, I just hope that there is a more variety of shows offered and thus making it worthwhile.

The packaging for the Apple TV, is always pleasing with any Apple product, the box is extremely small and features the Apple TV, power cable, remote and instructions manual. I wasn't too happy with the fact that Apple does not include an HDMI cable, so unfortunately it isn't ready out of the box, you will require an HDMI cable.

So overall looking at the up's and down's I think overall the Apple TV is a good update, just hopefully we can see a better, more selection of tv shows and movies. Also I hope that Apple includes more accessories along with the Apple TV, as it saves the hassle of having to buy a separate HDMI cable.

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 01: Apple CEO Steve Jobs holds the new, smaller Apple TV device as speaks during an Apple Special Event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts September 1, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Jobs announced upgraded versions of the entire iPod line, including an iPod Touch that includes a camera. He also showed the new iTunes version 10 and the release of the second generation of Apple TV. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Rumors of iPad 2

As most of you had probably seen yesterday RIM had just released the much anticipated "Blackberry Playbook" and looking at the specs it has a lot of advantage over the current iPad, it features dual cameras, 1080p video playable and 7 inch display. Now at this point Apple must be wondering that since the competition has gotten a lot of advantage over them, it might be the perfect time to work on iPad 2. Apple Insider had reported that the idea of 7 inch iPad is not confirmed yet so we might be seeing an improved version of the 9.7 inch model we have right now. Rumors report that it will possibly be even thinner and feature a camera alongside a mini usb port. Many might be wondering "even more thinner?!" Well yes, because of the fact it currently weighs just 1.5 pounds, it might be hard to hold in a hand when watching long movies and can be tiring. So a thinner or to say a lighter iPad is nice. We do wish it had more connectivity and we hope to see that in the 2nd revision of the iPad. The iPad 2 is said to most likely release in early to mid 2011, but remember this is just a rumor at the moment.

Apple's iPad is announced in France on May 28, 2010. Illustration done in Paris, France on May 11, showing various abilities of the new iPad. Photo by Balkis Press/ABACAPRESS.COM Photo via Newscom

Apple ahead of competitors in terms of media headlines

While recapping all that has happened throughout 2009 and 2010, it seems obvious that Apple would take the number 1 spot, in terms of popularity in the media. There has been many products that have been introduced throughout this time and this has made Apple very popular among the media. It started with the Snow Leopard operating system releasing last year, then the introduction of the iPad along side new iPod's and a new iPhone. Apple is at the 15 percent mark when it comes to the total amount of technology news offered in the media, and they are quite a bit ahead when compared to their competitors Microsoft which stand at 3 percent. It is no wonder, because of Apple creating products which people actually like and the fact that they don't update their products that often, could be the reason why Apple is such a hype in the market.

iTunes update brings along Ping Update

iTunes 10.0.1 was released this week and brings along some nice changes to the Ping platform. Ping as you all probably know now is Apple's entry into the social media group and this means you can share songs which you have gotten through iTunes with other people. Some key changes Apple has made is adding a spam filter which does a good job at deleting spam, because the first few days when Ping was out, it was cluttered with spam everywhere. Now with this update you can also see what other people are listening to by posting what you are listening to from your library and others will have the chance to check whether they like what your listening to or not. This adds on to making Ping more intuitive. Many people now feel that Ping is going somewhere and that Apple is making some good adjustments, but others would still like it to be linked to Twitter and Facebook, this way it will be good for people who use it and can gain more popularity for Ping. Considering Twitter and Facebook are large social networks. This update hasn't really brought any changes to the user interface of iTunes, the design is still the same which is disappointing.

Apple TV releasing later than expected

It's not the first time this has happened to an Apple product, it had also happened to the iPad when it was about to be released. Not only that but the iPad was also delayed internationally. The Apple TV which was expected to come around the end of September, early October has now been delayed till mid October. Shipping time according to Apple's site is around 3 weeks. Meaning around mid October. There were many people who had also pre-ordered an Apple TV, but Apple is planning to offer refunds, to those who did because of the delay. Could this be because of the fact more people ordered than the amount they had manufactured, or is it because of deals Apple is trying to work out with tv networks? We aren't sure yet, but I believe it won't be as big as all the other iOS devices.

SAN FRANCISCO - SEPTEMBER 01: The new smaller version of Apple TV is displayed at an Apple Special Event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts September 1, 2010 in San Francisco, California. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced upgraded versions of the entire iPod line, including an iPod Touch that includes a camera and smaller version of Apple TV. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Netflix now available in Canada

Many people had awaited this in Canada and it was the launch of Netflix, ever since the new Apple TV launched, it had the capability of streaming Netflix, but due to the fact Netflix was not available in Canada at the time, made the use of the Apple TV very limited. Now that Netflix has come into Canada it still seems that the Apple TV in Canada doesn't have an option of streaming Netflix, hopefully an update will fix this. Netflix is also available through Xbox 360 and PS3. It costs $8 a month for this service, which is quite cheap and many people who tried out Netflix in Canada said, the library at the moment, is much limited to that compared of U.S. users. Also the service of delivering a Netflix disc, is only available in the U.S. but now that this is here, Netflix is looking to replace renting movies from iTunes. You can also stream Netflix from your iPod/ iPhone and iPad, if you are a subscriber to Netflix.

If the Apple TV allows for Netflix watching in Canada, then this might raise sales of the Apple TV and will be a good cause for Apple.

Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings speaks during the launch of streaming internet subscription service for movies and TV shows to TVs and computers in Canada at a news conference in Toronto September 22, 2010. The Canadian introduction marks the first availability of the Netflix service outside of the United States.  REUTERS/ Mike Cassese  (CANADA - Tags: MEDIA BUSINESS)

Apple might offer magazines, newspapers through iTunes Store

The Wall Street Journal, was reporting the other day that Apple is trying to get publishers to post magazines, and newspapers through iTunes. This will be perfect for iPad users who love to read their favourite paper on the go. Many magazines have released issues on the iPad such as Time. But the problem was they were limited to single issue sales. The issues were selling at around $4 to $5 which is quite expensive. "What's taking so long to get these publishers to release their magazines on the iTunes store? you ask. This could be because of the fact Apple will take 30% off whatever money the publisher's make and that is quite a chunk, also the fact that Apple doesn't offer much of any user data to publishers, as to who is subscribing to their issues, is kind of a trade off. But looking at the bright side the amount of sales on iTunes is huge at around 150 million + so that is also one reason which may want publishers to post their issues of magazines on the iTunes store. If Apple does manage to get these magazines on their iTunes store then this might be a step up for Apple and could also raise sells of publishers who are in the midst of declining sales at the moment. Will this ever happen? We aren't sure yet. Stay tuned for more news in the future.

Apple Acquires "Polar Rose" Facial Recognition Company

If you know Apple, you know that they generally buy small companies as time goes on, this helps them add new features to their future coming products. Whether it be software or hardware. This time Apple bought out a Sweden company known as "Polar Rose." Polar Rose used to offer free face tagging services on their website, and that brought a lot of interest into bigger companies. Therefore they closed down the service to move on towards bigger companies. Polar Rose has invented various software which allows for facial recognition technologies. Now looking at the fact Apple also has a few programs themselves which allow for this technology, in the future this would be a nice feature to have in their iOS devices. If this technology does hit the iPhone/ iPod Touch this might be a step in the right direction for Apple, could this technology maybe incorporated in a soon coming iPad with a camera? We aren't sure yet. Stay tuned for more news.

Wifi model iPad's finally hit Refurbished store!

It has been a while and we always wondered "when will the iPad hit the Refurbished store?" It was a while since Apple had released them, and today if you take a look on the U.S. Appler refurb site, you will notice three wifi models. A 16gb starting at $449 and 32gb $549 and 64gb $649. Which means you are saving $50 compared to a newer model! Now given the fact refurb products from Apple look practically brand new. I'd say these iPad's are at a very good price, and I am sure they won't last long. This might also mean new iPad's might be coming, but we aren't sure yet. Shipping is said to take 1-3 business days and these models are only available on the U.S. refurb store site. Get them while they last! :D

 Wifi Model iPad's have finally hit the refurb store!

New Apple Cinema Display hits Apple Store Online

We had talked about how Apple were planning to release the new, 27 inch Cinema display in September. Well today if you take a look at the Apple store online, you will finally find it there. This cinema display is a perfect companion to any of your other Macintosh products, whether it be the Mac mini, Mac Pro or even the Macbook's/ Macbook Pro's. It features a contrast ratio of 1000:1, along with a built in webcam, three usb ports, and speakers. The resolution is 2560x1440 and at a starting price of $999. This might sell better compared to the the 30" model (now discontinued). Shipping according to the site is 1-2 weeks. Now that this display has replaced both the 30" and 24" we might see those in the clearance section, or the refurbished section as well, if your looking for discounts on those models keep your eyes hooked there. This should also hit Apple Store's if not today, sometime this week.

Apple offers Newspaper Publisher's, stats through apps

We all, at one point have seen newspaper apps on the app store, whether it be on your iPod, iPhone or iPad. Well many newspaper's are reporting that they have seen an increase in their app downloads after the release of the iPad. The only problem is along with all this, the newspaper companies don't receive any info regarding where there app is most download, and how much is downloaded monthly etc. Well now Apple is planning to offer that to newspaper companies, who have their apps on the app store. This is a nice feature but people like me and you, who download the apps, may have to give up some information and data. For the most part I am sure not all info will be given, but the choice still remains up to you, well that was for the New York Times app at least. Your info for the most part won't be given, and it will be an option for you to enable through the app. By default it does not share your info, so that is nice. Hopefully this will be more satisfying for newspaper publishers.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 28: A man inspects the iPad at the Apple store on George Street on May 28, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Apple's new tablet media device went on sale in nine countries around the world today following its launch in the United States in April this year. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

My thoughts on iTunes 10

Today's post will focus on iTunes 10. But before I begin I wanted to tell you guys that I am extremely sorry for the delay in posts as I was really busy caught up in business, these past few days. I thank you all for sticking around and I am sure to keep this site updated to the best of my ability. :) 

Ok, so iTunes 10 was released just a few weeks ago and I managed to download it and I wanted to give you a glimpse of what I think of it. So far looking at it from start, I really like the new logo, doing away with the CD at the back was a nice idea, that said, not everyone likes the new logo and that is perfectly understandable. I find the newer one a little bit more simple than the last one, but for me simple is good. The new blue background on the logo with a black music scale is a nice touch. Looking at the user interface itself, that's where I sort of wasn't too happy. Firstly the design of the top buttons, which you use to minimize and exit are vertical! Apple talk about awkward?! Not too happy with the way those buttons look. Secondly and this is what really ticked me off, was the fact all the colour was gone from the icons! I generally like software which is colourful and to me it looks more fun to use and easy on the eyes. But now with all the icons grey, the whole of iTunes looks quite dull. The scroller which is required to minimize and maximize volume of what is playing looks different, it will take some time for me to get used to it. Sorry for being picky here, but what I also didn't like was how the check mark boxes look so terrible graphics wise compared to iTunes 9. When you check mark a certain song it used to be a nice blue colour, but now it's a dull grey. 

I also took a look at Ping and thought that it was great, at least for a start. There were a few artists I could follow, but one fact I don't like is how whenever you want to see if your favourite artist updated his/her profile, you have to manually go there, seems to me there is no way to get that on your profile, so it will be much easier. Ping is great for a start and Apple have seemed to grasp the basics of social networking, but the actual topic is kind of plaid, all you can basically talk about is iTunes and music. Spam is also a factor on social networks but Apple has found a way around that by providing an icon to click, which then you can report a certain user for spam. While I was surfing I didn't find any spam at all, so great job Apple! 

I found iTunes 10 to be slightly faster at loading my library than iTunes 9, but other than that user interface was a bit of a disappointment, and Ping... well, it will take some time to be come really intuitive, as Apple should add more features to it. But the fact it has more than 1 million members is astounding. 

Leave your thoughts on iTunes 10 in the comments. More news to come soon. 

iTunes 10 interface

Google TV vs Apple TV

The Apple TV wasn't released long ago, but the response after the release came from Google. Google is planning to launch TV services, later this year in the U.S. and around early 2011 to many other countries. The Google TV platform is set to be built in to Sony TV's coming later this year, as many TV companies, have teamed up with Google to provide this service. The Google TV does not come in it's own design form factor, instead you will need to purchase a set top box. Such as one which was by Logitech. The Google TV platform is completely software based and you would require your own piece of hardware to run it. 

The Apple TV on the other hand, features a form factor, and a pretty decent user interface. With it being cloud based, it is much cheaper and is less prone to having content pirated. Though the idea of having to only rent movies is not so great, and it isn't possible to hook up an external drive. 

The Google TV will probably aim to be cheaper than the Apple TV while running on a set top box, it might also have the capability to hook up an external drive, to download content. I am not sure as to how the user interface will be on this, but from the looks of videos, it seems quite nice and easy to use. 

The Google TV will most likely come out later this year, we will have to see what the rivalry will be like between the Apple TV and Google TV.

iTunes Ping reaches 1 million members

Not long ago, Apple had launched their music social network for all talk about iTunes and Music. They managed to grasp the basics and there are a few artists on the network who you can follow. Many members can join and leave comments as to what they think of the artist's video, music etc. There has been an issue with the layout of iTunes 10 and that all the icons are now monochromatic, and the three circle exit buttons are now vertical, iTunes 10 in my opinion looks very plain, compared to the previous iTunes and as some highlighted out, when you sync your iPod and you want to sync a few apps, you will now have to scroll through all of them to find which one you want, instead before iTunes had featured a search bar which made finding apps much easier.

The amount of members in Ping is amazing as to say because it hasn't even been out for a week. Though one problem which Apple faces through Ping is Spam. Now this is a big problem on websites all around, and it's no surprise Ping had been filled with Spam, though Apple have included a button to report members that spam.

Ping is a decent start to the social networking platform, but I hope they enhance it with more features throughout the future.

Apple Event

Well the wait for the Apple Event is over and Steve Jobs had unveiled various new products! First off an update is here for iOS users which is iOS 4.1 and that has support for Game Center, along with bug fixes with iPhone 3G performance. A new revamped iTunes 10 was unveiled with now a new logo and Apple has launched a new music social network called "Ping" it is used to connect with various artists and follow them and get updates as to new albums coming, sort of like Twitter. You can comment on other artist's page. Ping can be found within iTunes after you update to iTunes 10. With many songs downloaded and the amount of music on iTunes, it truly is a breakthrough in music on the internet, with iTunes becoming huge.

Now onto the products, firstly with the iPod Shuffle, we know how much people complained about not having buttons on the iPod Shuffle and how controlling the music through the headphones button was a pain. Apple has updated the iPod Shuffle to have the buttons on the device, now it looks much like the 2nd generation shuffle, this time just more smaller! It features the same features such as Voiceover and genius etc. The price is $49 for 2gb. It comes in five different colours. Apple iPod Shuffle

The iPod Nano was probably the iPod with the biggest design change, Apple has decided to get rid of the click wheel on the iPod Nano and make it even smaller. So now what you can expect is a much smaller iPod Nano, nearly identical to the iPod Shuffle! It features a full touchscreen display and the user interface is much the same compared to the iPod Touch. It works very seamlessly and the design is much more squarish. Pricing is $149.99 for 8gb and $179.99 for 16gb it comes in seven different colours, including a "Product RED" version.  Apple iPod Nano

The new iPod Touch now includes two cameras! A front facing camera for FaceTime through Wifi and a back facing camera for HD Video recording! I didn't expect two cameras but it is really nice to have. Design wise the iPod Touch is even thinner than the last model! The screen now has a Retina Display! This is the same compared to the iPhone 4, so you are going to experience superb screen quality, with no pixels visible. The iPod Touch now features an A4 processor chip, same one found in the iPad, so you are looking at a very good little performer. Starting price is $229 for 8gb, $299 for 32gb and $399 for 64gb. Apple iPod Touch

The Apple TV has received a very new refresh, it is much smaller now! Almost a quarter of the previous size! Starting price is only $99 a dramatic drop from $229 because this time it is cloud based and that it has no internal hard drive, this way it is much smaller. It comes in a black colour. It offers HD TV rentals starting at $0.99 and offers NetFlix and YouTube streaming. A newer remote made of aluminum rather than the older plastic white remote and this model also features 802.11n wifi. The Apple TV features an HDMI port, Gigabit Ethernet, Mini USB and Optical Audio port. The Apple TV also features the newer enhanced A4 processor. Apple TV

The only iPod which hadn't recieved a refresh was the iPod Classic, I for a second thought that Apple will kill off the iPod Classic, because they hadn't talked about it in the keynote, but after the site was updated, the iPod Classic still remained there. Pricing is the same.

The iPod's should be available next week and are available for pre-order starting today, The Apple TV will be available in 4 weeks.

It was a great event, with many new products being unveiled, that's it for now, stay tuned for more info in the future.

Apple to offer live streaming of music event tomorrow!

It's not always that Apple offers live streaming of their events, usually people go onto other sites for updates and analysis. But Steve Jobs offered to provide a live stream of the event through Quicktime tomorrow, the event will start at 10am PT and 1pm EST, though this live stream won't work for everyone, only users with Mac OSX Snow Leopard and Safari will be able to view the stream and users with an iOS Device with 3.0 or higher. Not sure why Apple is doing this, maybe to show an advantage of having a Mac. The Live stream will take place on Apple's site. It should be fairly easy to find out where the live stream is located on the site. For users who don't have an iOS Device with 3.0 or higher, and don't have a Macintosh with Snow Leopard, you can still head over to the various tech sites, such as: Engadget, MacWorld, Gizmodo for updates on the event! Very exciting stuff await tomorrow, we will keep you updated!